Psychedelic research

Čestmír Vejmola, MSc. is a PhD neuroscience student at the 3rd Faculty of Medicine. Since 2014 he has been working in the research team of Dr. Tomáš Páleníček – he started at the Psychiatric Centre Prague and is now continuing in National Institute of Mental Health in the Experimental Biology Group. His PhD work is focused on the translational validity of psychedelics in the animal model of psychosis. During his work in the Experimental Biology group, he acquired a number of behavioural tests, a three-year practice of stereotactic surgeries and the practice of several electrophysiological methods, such as EEG, LFP and single-unit recording.

How do rats trip?

Serotonin receptors, which mediate the effects of psychedelics on our brain, are to be found already in unicellular organisms, and is thus apparent that psychedelics can affect not only the human mind but of all other creatures. Rats are mostly used in physiology, cognitive and memory science. A lot of psychedelic research has been done on them. Intoxicated rats serve as an animal model of psychosis, to determine effective dose, addictive potential of substances and others. But how do they trip? And what can we draw from it? There is a number of scientific approaches that we can apply to assess a quality of rat trip. We can measure behavioural patterns, physiological changes, cognitive changes and compare them with human data and our experience.